Posts tagged: chinook salmon
FISHING — Chinook salmon anglers are finding a little more elbow room on the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River and anglers numbers declinced slightly last week, but the catch rates on the 2013 record run remain high.
Here's the report just received from Paul Hoffarth, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife area fisheries biologist:
The number of boats on the water in the Hanford Reach dropped a bit this past week compared to the two weeks prior. There were an estimated 5,123 angler trips for the week. Anglers averaged 2.2 Chinook per boat and 20 hours for each Chinook caught from the bank.
Staff interviewed anglers from 572 boats (1,309 boat anglers) and 227 bank anglers fishing for Chinook reporting a harvest of 1,221 adult Chinook and 102 jacks. Harvest for the week was estimated at 4,357 adult Chinook and 357 Chinook jacks.
For the season, 19,313 adult Chinook and 2,365 jacks have been harvested. The adult harvest breaks the previous record of 13,102 adults harvested set last year. There have been 33,081 angler trips for the fishery through October 13. The in-season run update for natural origin adult Hanford Reach fall Chinook returning to the Hanford Reach is 136,902 (updated Oct 7).
Yakima River fishing for chinooks hasn't been bad, either. Says Hoffarth:
WDFW staff interviewed 185 anglers between October 7th and 13th. Anglers reported harvesting 86 adult Chinook, 14 jacks, and 7 coho. An estimated 662 adult fall Chinook, 148 jacks, and 76 coho were harvested this past week from 1,657 angler trips. Anglers averaged 1 salmon for every 4.4 hours fished.
For the season, 5,942 anglers trips have been taken and 995 adult Chinook, 313 chinook jacks, and 83 coho have been harvested.
FISHING — Although steelhead fishing has opened in the Ringold area of the Columbia River's Hanford Reach, most angling pressure has been focused on the record run of chinook salmon packing into the area.
Anglers last week AVERAGED 2.5 chinooks per boat as they set sportfishing records for chinook caught in the free-flowing stretch between the Tri Cities and Priest Rapids Dam. Awesome.
The chinooks also are setting records on the Snake River.
FISHING — Oh, what a difference a little rain and cooler water temperatures have made to erase the thermal barrier that had been keeping steelhead and chinook salmon from progressing up the Snake River.
Graphs show the surge of each species booming up over Lower Granite Dam in the past few days en route to the Snake, Clearwater and Salmon river fisheries in Idaho.
FISHING — An unusually lengthy warm season in the interior Columbia Basin, combined with low water volumes, has apparently given, first sockeye salmon and then fall chinook salmon, reason to pause before they jump an eighth and final hydro hurdle — the lower Snake River’s Lower Granite Dam— on their spawning journey.
Read a detailed update on the sistuation from the Columbia Basin Bulletin.
In a nutshell, if you don't hold the dam at fault, it's the weather's fault.
SALMON FISHING — The huge run of fall chinook forecast for the Columbia and Snake rivers got a booming start last week.
In a three-day stretch last week, nearly 85,000 fall chinook moved up over Bonneville, with almost 34,000 of those coming up river on Friday tapering to a rush of 27,000 on Monday.
Steelhead and coho also are in the mix, boosting the counts of quality fishing potential even higher.
Fishing writer Rob Phillips says anglers already have been nailing these fish at the mouth of the Klickitat and the mouth of the Deschutes rivers.
The bulk of the fishery is headed for the Hanford Reach of the Columbia, but Phillips details other hot spots up through the Tri-Cities in the upper Columbia in his Yakima Herald—Republic column.
WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT — Fall chinook salmon seasons are on the agenda for the Idaho Fish and Game Commission meeting Wednesday and Thursday (July 10 and 11) at the Clarion Inn, 1399 Bench Rd. in Pocatello.
Chinook fishing is proposed to open Sept. 1 on parts of the Snake, Clearwater and Salmon rivers.
The commisisoners have set a public comment session at 7 p.m. Wednesday, July 10, at the Clarion Inn
Commissioners will hear an update on the negotiated rule-making process, required by recent changes in state law. Four new rules are being considered for negotiated rule making.
· Nonresident junior mentored tags would require the mentor to have a tag for the same species but not necessarily the same area.
· Bear hunters would be required to complete Fish and Game’s bear identification course and exam before hunting bears in units where both black bears and grizzly bears may be encountered.
· Rules would be developed covering the use of unprocessed food for bear bait in certain units in the Upper Snake Region.
· The existing Landowner Appreciation Program would be adjusted to resolve concerns expressed by landowners in Unit 45 about program restrictions.
Read on for more details about these rules, other agenda items and specific proposals for the chinook seasons:
FISHING — Lake Roosevelt trout and kokanee have a well deserved reputation for being excellent table fare.
That's why a fishing buddy was so surprised to prepare a bright 18-inch unmarked salmon he caught a on the reservoir and find it to be on the dog-food-tasting side of edible.
“I had a salmon fillet last night and it was horrible,” he said. “Any salmon I get in the future that has a black mouth will be returned to the water or used as eagle bait for pictures.”
Indeed, it had black on the inside of its mouth including “most” of the gum line, which suggests chinook salmon, possibly down the Spokane Arm from Lake Coeur d'Alene. On the other hand, it looked much like a kokanee for the lack of large black spots on its back and tail.
My friend took a head and fins of the fish to Washington Fish and Wildlife Department regional fisheries manager John Whalen for examination. Whalen thought they were chinook, possibly from Canada, and possibly with a genetic glitch in order to have the black gumline but no spots.
Either way, they're not the fish you want to serve to somebody you want to impress.
FISHING — Plan now for plenty of free time this fall to get on board with a potential record run of fall chinook salmon forecast for the Hanford Reach of the Columbia River.
The preliminary forecast released by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife last week predicts the largest run of of the BIG upriver brights bound for the Hanford Reach since records have been kept.
The forecast is for 432,500 upriver brights, which would top the record of 420,700 that actually came up the river in 1987.
Last year, 353,500 upriver brights were forecast in February, but the actual return were 298,000.
Snake River wild chinook are forecast for a big increase this year. Last year 15,100 were forecast and 16,700 showed up. This year, however, the forecast calls for 31,600 wild chinook.
The total forecast of 677,900 Columbia River fall chinook to lower and upper river fisheries is greater than the 10-year average actual return (547,900) and would be the highest return since 2004 if the forecast holds.
Here are some of the past week's top outdoors stories in The Spokesman-Review:
SALMON FISHING — Chances for a long chinook salmon fishing season with liberal limits next spring are looking slim in the Snake and Clearwater rivers, reports Eric Barker of the Lewiston Tribune.
Fisheries managers from state, tribal and federal agencies are predicting 141,400 spring chinook bound for tributaries above Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River will return at least as far as the mouth of the Columbia. That includes 58,200 chinook bound for the Snake River and its tributaries like the Salmon and Clearwater rivers.
If the forecast proves accurate, it would be the lowest return since 2007 when only 86,000 upriver spring chinook returned to the Columbia and similar to 2006 when the mouth of the Columbia saw a return of 132,600 spring and summer chinook. The Snake River component of the 2006 run was 53,200. Fishing in Idaho was limited to four days a week that year and the harvest quota was about 800 fish for the Clearwater River and around 1,330 on the lower Salmon River.
Read on for more details from Barker's report.
FISHING — A spring chinook run of 141,400 — the poorest in six years — is forecast to enter the Columbia River destined for upstream of Bonneville Dam, according to figures released by Washington and Oregon fish managers this week.
“The forecast is down from what we're used to seeing in recent years, but it's still not one of the worst ever and could be an average-size return,” said Kathryn Kostow, Oregon Fish and Wildlife and Columbia River Technical Advisory Committee chairman, comparing data back to the 1980s.
“This is awful,’’ said Larry Snyder, president of the Vancouver Wildlife League and an avid spring chinook angler in a Vancouver Columbian story by Allen Thomas. “I don’t see a very long season this year.’’
Preliminary numbers for summer and fall chinook heading up the Columbia look to be in good shape, but the early forecast for sockeye is about half of the record returns that prompted a huge turnout of boats this summer.
Predictions on spring chinook returns vary wildly and can be inaccurate. Last year's forecast of 314,200, which would have been the fourth-largest since 1980, fell far short at 203,100.
The largest spring chinook return on record was 416,500 (364,600 was the forecast) in 2001, and the worst was 9,800 (12,000) in 1995.
The forecast in tributaries above Bonneville Dam such as Wind River, White Salmon River and Drano Lake usually come out in late January.
Fishing seasons will be decided Jan. 30 by state, federal and tribal fishery managers in Portland.
FISHING — Steelhead continue their parade up the Snake River and over the dams. They're moving over Lower Granite Dam, the last before they hit Idaho waters, at the rate of about 2,200 a day.
FISHING — Salmon fishing will close on the Wenatchee River and portions of the Columbia River after sunset on Sunday, the Washington Fish and Wildlife Department announced today.
Locations: Wenatchee River from the mouth (confluence with the Columbia River) to the Icicle Road bridge near the west end of Leavenworth, and mainstem Columbia River from Rock Island Dam to Chief Joseph Dam.
Species affected: Chinook and sockeye salmon.
Reason for action:The salmon fishery is approaching allowable limits of incidental impacts to ESA-listed steelhead under the Permit 1554, which covers the summer chinook and sockeye fisheries.
Other information: The fall chinook fisheries below Rock Island Dam and the summer chinook fishery in the Chelan River are not affected by this closure. Please check WDFW's “Fishing in Washington” rules pamphlet and emergency regulations on the department's website for details on all permanent fishing seasons and regulations for those waters.
FISHING — Good catches of steelhead and chinook salmon have been reported this week from the Lyons Ferry area of the Snake, the Lewiston area, the Grande Ronde River and all the way up to the Salmon River at Riggins.
Water conditions are getting prime and fish are spreading their wealth to anglers, even though the runs aren't up to average.
Here's the upstream report on the Salmon River from Amy Sinclair of Exodus River Adventures in Riggins:
Salmon River flow this morning is 3640 CFS, water temperature is 57 degrees and the river is crystal clear.
Colder night-time temperatures should be ideal for cooling the water temperature down and getting more steelhead into the area.
The prime steelhead fly fishing is late September to mid October while water temperatures are warm and have the fish aggressive. Standard or typical steelhead fishing with spin or bait rods/reels is best in the fall from mid October until early December. Best spring steelheading is from early February to mid March.
Here's a report (and photo above) from Jeff Holmes, a writer/angler who lives in the Tri-Cities:
The Snake River is supposed to be extraordinarily slow right now but looky lookie at what my friend Teddy and I caught out there on 1 trip. That's 7 hatchery steelhead, an adult chinook, and a jack.
We also released a big wild steelhead and a much larger salmon and had many other savage rips. I am headed out again to rip and slay.
Holmes said his was night-fishing in one of the middle impoundments. He was using lighted plugs, and pointed out that he crimped the barbs on his Brad's Wigglers.
FISHING — Starting Saturday, fishing for chinook salmon will be allowed at the Lake Chelan Project Tailrace to target fish returning to a net pen release area.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Department has announced the season will run Sept. 1-Oct. 15 from the railroad bridge to the Chelan PUD safety barrier below the powerhouse.
Read on for details posted by the agency.
FISHERIES — A temporary picket-style salmon weir recently has been installed on the Okanogan River about 15 miles upstream from its confluence with the Columbia River near Brewster, the Colville Tribe reports.
The structure spans the Okanogan river, but leaves room along the west bank for small waterdraft to pass around the weir.
The weir was installed a mile downstream from Malott Bridge during three weeks of construction by Chief Joseph Hatchery staff to test methods for sampling chinook salmon heading upstream to spawn. The river can flow through the weir but the picket slots form a barrier to upstream-bound adult salmon and angles them into a trap.
“This summer we will watch for any negative effects the structure may cause,” said Keith Wolf, the hatchery's lead scientist. “We will be able to count fish, and get good estimates on the salmon returning to the Okanogan River. After closely monitoring the site for the next several weeks, we will see how salmon react to the weir and we’ll make any necessary modifications we need to for the permanent structure.”
The weir allows the staff to manage summer-fall chinook, sorting out fish of hatchery origin while releasing wild fish to continue their spawning migration.
Joe Peone, Colville Confederated Tribes (CCT) Fish and Wildlife director, explained in a media release:
“This project plays an important role in adult management of summer Chinook that are destined for the spawning grounds in the Similkameen River and the U.S. portion of the Okanogan River. It allows managers to manage natural-origin (NOR) summer Chinook to be the primary spawners (70%) and allows us to control the number of hatchery-origin spawners (HOR) about (30%) on the breading grounds.
In return, the CCT will be able to harvest the HOR summer Chinook and distribute to the CCT members,” he said. “At the same time, we want to make sure our Okanogan weir does not hinder any salmon stocks from migrating up the river. This is why we are doing a two-year feasibility study to monitor adult behavior as they approach the weir.”
The Okanogan River test weir was funded by Grant County Public Utility District and will be operating until the end of September.
Peone said the hatchery staff will operate the weir and communicate with resource agencies regarding the project findings.
FISHING — Fishing for steelhead plus the bonus of fishing for expanded daily limits of fall chinook salmon will open Sept. 1 on the Washington portion of the Snake River, officials announced today.
Predicting a strong return of upriver bright chinook salmon, Washington Fish and Wildlife Department fishery managers have expanded the daily catch limit to include three adult hatchery chinook, plus three hatchery jack chinook under 24 inches in length.
Only hatchery salmon and steelhead may be kept.
Anglers may also catch and keep up to three hatchery steelhead, but must stop fishing for the day – for both chinook and steelhead – once they have taken their three-fish steelhead limit.
Read on for the details from the WDFW.
SALMON FISHING – After several record daily sockeye counts over Bonneville Dam this week, fisheries managers’ expecations for overall record returns of sockeye salmon to the upper Columbia River are high.
The salmon fishing season in the upper Columbia above Priest Papids Dam opens today.
By mid-July, Washington Fish and Wildlife biologists expect summer chinook and sockeye fisheries to have kicked into high gear.
Check the status of incoming adult fish through the interagency Columbia River Data Access in Real Time (DART).
Chris Donley, a local fish biologist and salmon slayer, highly recommends watching the numbers on that website to see when the fish start piling into the upper Columbia fisheries.
When you get to it, click on “Adult Passage,” then scroll through dates to bottom and today for latest on all species (also compares with past years’ numbers).
SALMON FISHING — Starting July 1, anglers will be required to rlease all chinook and sockeye with external floy tags and/or with one or more holes (round, approximately ¼ inch diameter) punched in the caudal (tail) fin.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife announced the rule change on Thursday. the rule will run through Oct.15.
Location: Mainstem Columbia River from Priest Rapids Dam upstream to Chief Joseph Dam, including the Similkameen and Okanogan rivers.
Read on for details.